It had been such a “long time”, almost seven years, since the band Boston had released a new album and toured that when Tom Scholz, Brad Delp, and Company returned to the concert stage headlining the 1987 Texxas Jam in front of 70,000 in the Dallas Cotton Bowl, it was international news. It also was a terrifying re-entry to live performance for the shy, soft-spoken lead singer Delp, who walked with me and the rest of the band Boston from the Cotton Bowl dressing room down the long concrete tunnel under one end of the stands, then up the high twenty-foot stairway toward the enormous aircraft carrier deck-sized stage.I was broadcasting the band Boston’s return to the stage live on Dallas/Ft.Worth radio station Q102 by interviewing lead singer Brad Delp, and with every step from the backstage area toward the stage and the delirious crowd awaiting their return, the cheers built into a roar when the stadium lights suddenly went dark. Brad threw his arm around my shoulder with the grip of a drowning man grasping for a lifesaver, our eyes locked, his flashed real fear, and for a split second I thought he was going to bolt for the exit!
The members of the band Boston that night, guitarist Tom Scholz, guitarist Gary Pihl, bass player David Sikes, keyboard and harmony singer Doug Huffman, and “long time” Boston drummer Jim Masdea had all taken their places, strapped up and plugged in while 70,000 in the cavernous Cotton Bowl stadium roared in anticipation, but singer Brad Delp was still clinging to me with both arms in the wings stage right. And remember, we’re live on the radio this whole time.
(The late Brad Delp (l) the night before the 1987 Texxas Jam at the Dallas Hard Rock Cafe )
“Hey buddy, they’re screamin’ for ya!” I shouted into his ear and the radio microphone simultaneously. Delp swallowed hard like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, proceeded to walk the plank to the center stage microphone stand, and delivered the goods to the long-suffering fans. Here is the song “To Be a Man“, originally on Third Stage , that Boston performed that night and throughout that 1987 tour, which spotlights the God-given gift of Brad Delp’s voice. –Redbeard